Affordable Care Act: Supporting breastfeeding mothers

Affordable Care Act: Supporting breastfeeding mothers

The ACA requires new private health insurance plans, including those available in the new health insurance marketplaces, to provide coverage for specified women’s preventive health services with no cost sharing (e.g., copayment, coinsurance, or deductible). Breastfeeding support, supplies and lactation counseling are one of these specified preventive services.

I appreciate that it is covered under 'preventive services', because breastfeeding prevents disease! Why NOT breastfeed or use breastmilk banks?

exerpt from National Confrence for State Legislators:

Preventive Services Covered Under the Affordable Care Act

February 2014; material added June 30, 2014

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a special focus on providing newly required coverage for a wide range of health preventive and screening services.  In particular, the 63 distinct preventive services listed below must be covered without the enrollee having to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet a deductible. This coverage began back in September 2010 for some newly issued health plans; effective January 1, 2014, it applies much more broadly, to plans offered in the individual, small, and some large group markets.  There are and can be exceptions for some grandfathered employer plans and policies bought by persons who are exempt from the individual coverage mandate. For commercial health insurance, both inside and outside of health exchanges, this no-cost feature applies only when these services are delivered by a network provider.  The material and service-specific links below includes material posted online by HHS at  


Also, I found this link Getting Ready to Breastfeed on Health Finder and this link with helpful planning answers on Womens Health to be a good tool for pregant moms planning to breastfeed (yeah!!). 

New goal for USA is 82% of all babies breastfed by 2020.


pregnancy is beautiful at

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding are beautiful!

For more information:

Hopefully this has been helpful to you, finding resources to help make the transition to breastfeeding an easier one!  

If you need help finding the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us.  We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.

Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 


Bella Materna|President|Mom

Clothing - Affordable Care Act: Supporting breastfeeding mothers

July 22, 2015

Health Awareness: Breastfeeding is challenging.

Breastfeeding is challenging.

Despite the many rewards and health benefits of breastfeeding, it can be challenging. For example:

  • Being the sole source of nutrition for your infant is not always easy.
  • Many nursing mothers have sore nipples, breast engorgement (very full breasts) when their “milk comes in”, and occasionally breast infections that require treatment with antibiotics.
  • Some women have had breast surgery that can reduce the amount of human milk they produce. These women may have to feed their infants with formula in addition to the milk they produce.
  • Breastfeeding can be stressful. For instance, a lack of support by family, social network and/or colleagues can cause discomfort and anxiety.
  • If you are a breastfeeding mother, one way to reduce stress is to make sure that you continue to take care of yourself, including developing support networks with friends and family and other women who are breastfeeding.
  • Stay in touch with your healthcare providers about ongoing medical or mental health conditions.

While breastfeeding offers many benefits to mom and baby, it may not be the right infant feeding choice for everyone.

  • Some women may have physical challenges that make breastfeeding and/or pumping breast milk difficult or impossible.
  • Others may have personal reasons why breastfeeding is not the right choice.
  • Some women may take certain medications that make breastfeeding impossible.
  • Milk Banks can provide breastmilk if mothers are unable to provide it.  Click here to learn more and find a location near you
  • North America: Human Milk Banking Association of North America.   
  • United Kingdom: United Kingdom Association for Milk Banking
  • Europe: European Milk Banking 

Every mother is unique. Work with your healthcare provider to decide on the best method for you and your baby.

Clothing - Health Awareness: Breastfeeding is challenging.

Resources * 

* Resources listed are helpful, but do not replace the advise of your medical professional, always contact them for information on the best care for you and your baby.
    Thanks to the USA Vetrans Affairs site for this reference information.

    If you need help finding the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us.  We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.

    Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 


    Bella Materna|President|Mom

    Clothing - Health Awareness: Breastfeeding is challenging.

    July 20, 2015

    Tips for sucessful breast pumping

    Tips for sucessful breast pumping
    Just in case you cannot see the image above; here is the information in copy form:

    when babies start to breast-feed, they suckle
    with rapid sucking motions and low suction strength
    – this causes the milk to release by stimulating
    the milk release reflex.

    this effect can be replicated by starting
    with a higher cycle level (e.g. 8 bars)
    and selecting a weaker vacuum. when the
    milk begins to release, reduce the cycles
    by pressing the down arrow and strengthen
    the vacuum by pressing the up-arrow until
    you find the most comfortable level for you.
    the milk ejection reflex may occur later
    when pumping than when breast feeding.
    these 8 adjustable settings are only
    available with our electric breast pump

    the following measures may be helpful:
    ~ massage the breast before pumping.
    ~ relax and think about your baby.
    ~ gaze at a picture of your baby.
    ~ apply a warmed compress to the breast
    ~ warm the cone or funnel of the breast shell
    ~the ardo draw down cycle is longer than other pumps,
    which allows you to pump more milk for each cycle.
    ~ use the opti tip; included in all ardo electric pumps.
    it helps optimize the suction.
    ~ remember that your breast milk is the best
    ~remember that you are her/his perfect mom
    ~ drink water while pumping, take care of yourself
    Good luck and keep up the good work - you are the BEST MOM!
    Please feel free to call with questions.
    May 20, 2015

    Moms’ Tips For Breastfeeding When You're Back To Work

    shared from The Bump:

    Moms’ Tips For Breastfeeding When You go Back To Work

    You know you've got to go back to work — and you know you want to keep breastfeeding baby (it is best, of course!), but how are you going to actually pull it off? A traveling sales rep, a teacher, a surgeon and others share their secrets for breastfeeding (and pumping!) on the job.

    Clothing - Moms’ Tips For Breastfeeding When You're Back To Work

    Get a really, really good pump

    As tempting as it is to get that single, manual pump because it’s super affordable, you really will make your day-to-day five thousand times easier if you get a double, electric pump. It’s simply more efficient than a single pump or a hand pump, which means you'll get more work done during the day (and get home to your baby faster).

    “I had a Medela Freestyle pump and could take it anywhere and wasn’t dependent on power to be able to pump [because it comes with a battery pack],” says Lennox M., a physician in Roanoke, Virginia.

    “Rent a pump from the hospital,” recommends April, a teacher in Atlanta. “They are the best, the fastest and easiest to work with. If something goes wrong, you can exchange it for another.”

    Fight for your rights

    Legally, you probably have the right to pump at work. An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 gives an employee the right to reasonable break time to express milk for baby’s first year — and a private place to do it that isn't a bathroom. Thing is, this right doesn’t apply at companies with fewer than 50 employees.

    And not all bosses may realize what the rights are, so you might still have to fight a little for a good place to pump. You definitely should.

    “[With my first baby,] I pumped in empty offices, leaning my back against the door, hoping my colleagues wouldn't bust through the unlocked door,” says Kelly W., a microbiologist and doula. “The next time [I had a baby], I went to the VP with a proposal about why moms who pump are more productive and happier. I asked for some money and space to set up a lactation room. It worked. I bought a massage chair, a refrigerator and some nice decor for the little spot awarded to me.”

    Afraid to say something? You may be surprised how supportive your company may be. “I’m a police dispatcher, and work was very supportive!” says Kimberli S.

    “At first it felt awkward to tell people what I was doing and why I needed time,” says Kelly K., a surgeon. “Once I got over my initial embarrassment, everything has been so much easier. My male colleagues are actually just as helpful and accommodating as my female ones.”

    Band together

    What’s even more effective is if you band together with the other breastfeeding moms you work with. “The more of us that breastfeed, the more and better the situations we’ll have at work and school,” says Gretchen D., who was a law student while she breastfed. Gretchen managed to pump during her 20-minute break between classes — splitting time in a break room with another breastfeeding mom — and make it to class on time.

    Get creative

    Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have a private space to pump. Heck, not everyone stays in one place all day long. “Since my job is on the road, finding a place to pump was a daily task,” says Katie S., a pharmaceutical sales rep. “I pumped in the car in parking lots, in clients’ offices and in public bathrooms. I did try it while driving, but it wasn't very safe!”
    “My husband brings my daughter to my workplace some days so I can feed her on my lunch break,” says Melissa B., an emergency room nurse.

    “I have to pump in a supply closet and use my lunch and planning breaks, but it is worth it,” says Genevieve M. “I watch videos of my son while I pump to help with letdown and remind me why I do it.”

    Look for shortcuts and develop a routine

    Once you're a working mom, you can count your free moments on your…oh let’s face it, there are no free moments to count. So you'll make yourself less crazy by stocking up on the tools you need to get your pump parts and bottles clean without standing over the sink for long chunks of time.

    “I streamlined my process by using [special breast pump] wipes to clean the pump after use,” says Sarah C., a writer and editor in Fairfield County, Connecticut. “Then I could just rinse it quickly.”

    “I used a bottle sterilizer for my pump parts, so that helped with efficiency,” says Lennox. We also like those quick microwave sterilizer bags.

    Once you’ve got the tools, make sure you’re creating a routine that doesn't stress you out (at least not too much). “Having my pumping kit clean and ready to go with extra parts made things so much easier,” says Shannon C., a salon owner and nail artist. “I would pump in the morning before I left for work, then grab my bag, which had two sets of flanges, wipes and bags, and go. When I got home that night, I would freeze the milk and wash the flanges to be ready again the next day.”

    Schedule pumping sessions into your calendar

    Work can get pretty demanding — and distracting! — and before you know it, you've totally missed a pumping session. This can lead to engorgement in the short run and a diminishing supply in the long run. “I’d set my phone’s alarm during the day to remind myself I had to pump, since I’d get wrapped up in work,” says Katie.

    If you're on Outlook or some other calendar program, it’s important to block out times for pumping. That way, you know you've blocked out the time, coworkers know you’re not available, and you're more likely to stick to the schedule (plus, sticking to a schedule is good for your supply!).

    “We are booked so solid [seeing patients] during the day, I have to double book slots so I have a break in between to pump,” says Kelly K. “It takes my paying more attention to my schedule.…As for operating room days…for long cases, I book them with one of my partners as an assistant so I can take pump breaks.”

    Get a hands-free nursing bra

    If your pump doesn't come with a hands-free kit, you can buy a hands-free nursing bra, which can save you tons of time since you’ll have a greater ability to multitask. “I often took proofs in with me when I pumped and corrected them, so I didn't have any downtime,” says Sarah. “I also did some [phone] interviews while pumping.”

    “I’m sure the transcriptionists were wondering what the ‘wha wha wha’ noise was in the background of my dictations!” jokes Lennox.

    Expect a few fiascos before you really get it

    We hate to break it to you, but there will probably be some embarrassing moments.

    “During my first week back, I remember being in this big project meeting and my mind started drifting to thoughts of my baby,” says Kelly. “Uh-oh. [Milk] soaked right through my shirt….Be prepared with pads in case of leaking.”

    “I got walked in on a few times while pumping,” says Cheri, a physician in Twin Falls, Idaho.

    “A homeless person came up to the car while I was pumping in it, asking for money!” says Katie.
    Forgetting the breast pads, neglecting to lock the door, leaving the pump tubing at home (and running frantically to every drugstore in town on your lunch break trying to find replacement ones) are all rookie mistakes. Don’t freak out if you have a few setbacks like these in the beginning. You’ll get the hang of it eventually, and remembering all the essentials — and doing everything right (well, mostly right) — will become the norm in no time.

    “I made a sign for my office door that said, ‘Trust me. You do not want to open this door,’” says Cheri.

    Really work at it, and know you’ll be glad you did

    Kelly had a 50-mile commute, Shannon would make less money the fewer clients she saw, and Sarah pumped in a photo studio. Chrissy R. is an EMT with a busy schedule and found the time to pump twice a day. Cheri was sleep-deprived because her baby refused to take a bottle and instead wanted to nurse intermittently throughout the night. But they all did it (and say it was worth it). And you totally can too.

    Sure it will be tough, but as April points out: “Breastfeeding is the ultimate in learning to manage and juggle, especially when you're a working mom. That juggling act never stops as your child becomes older. Breastfeeding just turns into something else.”

    shared from The Bump 

    March 05, 2015